Most of the year the hedges and plants in our garden are a bountiful haven for birds. Even I was foraging and collecting fruit from them. It’s also rather amazing listening to the variety of bird songs in our garden and then seeing a flutter of wings as they move from one shrub to another.
But it’s a new season. It’s winter bird feeding time. There’s no more fruit and plants are dying.
The cold winter weather means that there could be a shortage of food for the sparrows, coal tits, blue tits and other birds that gather in our garden. A recent post here by Gemma Garner reminded me that it was time for us to provide them with some nourishing treats to help them through the winter months.
The nectar in our our Mahonia x media charity is not enough.
However I wanted my children to be aware and feel involved with feeding the birds in our garden this winter. In our last home they’d experienced how building a bird feeder table brought our feather friends flocking.
I bought peanut butter made especially for birds. My kids gasped when they saw it and announced that I better never serve it to them at breakfast! It has no salt and is filled with insects. (Available on UK Amazon Flutter Butter Triple Pack (Mixed) ).
– They covered cones we’d collected in the woods with the bird peanut butter and then rolled them in seeds. The same was done with a toilet roll. I made sure we tied strings to the cones before covering them with the bird treats.
I also bought fat balls and coconuts filled with bird suet and seeds. Another empty coconut was filled with bird feed as well as meal worm cakes for our resident robin.
The first day no birds showed up. Not surprising as there was a wind storm. As soon as the wind retreated they arrived. And keep arriving.
We’re a family member of RSPB – the Royal Society of Protection of Birds – as I feel it’s important for my children to learn about nature. They’re also a great source of information on how to feed birds, when to feed wild birds and what food to provide. You can find the RSPB’s advice on feeding birds here.
Update: Here’s the toilet roll bird feeder made by my kids hooked on a shrub branch. Just two days later every seed and morsel of peanut butter finished! Clearly very popular with the wild birds. We’ll need to make new ones regularly!
Even if there’s snow and freezing temperature this winter, I’ll still be able to listen to bird song and watch them fly and rest in our garden because we’ll keep feeding them through the cold winter months.